A thick curtain of smoke hangs over the forests of Siberia in this natural color image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on July 18, 2011. Several large forest fires had been burning throughout Siberia in previous days. As of July 17, fire was burning on 1,341 hectares (3,314 acres), reported RIA Novosti. The fires burning on July 18 are marked in red.
The fires shown in this image surround the Lena River, which is hidden under the smoke. Fires are common in the forests of Russia during the summer. The majority of those burning near populated areas are started by people. Though some of these fires are burning near settlements, none are threatening populated areas, said RIA Novosti. Sakha (Yakutia), the district shown in the image, was one of the three districts most affected by fire in mid-July.